Most motorcycle riders in Kentucky and across the country understand the importance of wearing a helmet for their safety. They know that not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle can be risky. According to the National Safety Council, wearing a helmet can be crucial in preventing fatal injuries for motorcycle riders and passengers. They estimate that helmets are about 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries for riders and 41% effective for passengers.
Despite this knowledge, some riders in Kentucky still choose not to wear a helmet. The good news is, even if you didn’t wear a helmet and the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you can still seek compensation for damages.
At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, our experienced team of Kentucky motorcycle accident lawyers can guide you through the legal process after a motorcycle accident and help you recover. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents in Kentucky?
Motorcycle accidents are a concern for riders in Kentucky, despite the state’s popularity among motorcycle enthusiasts. Some common causes of motorcycle accidents throughout the state include:
- Failure to yield – Drivers often fail to give motorcyclists the right of way at intersections or while changing lanes, leading to collisions.
- Distracted driving – Drivers who are distracted by phones, GPS, or passengers may not notice motorcyclists on the road.
- Speeding – Drivers exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions may not be able to stop in time, resulting in collisions with motorcycles.
- Drunk driving – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a significant cause of motorcycle accidents, leading to severe injuries or fatalities.
- Reckless driving – Drivers engaging in reckless behaviors like tailgating, weaving through traffic, or disregarding traffic signals can endanger motorcyclists.
- Left turns in front of motorcycles – Collisions often occur when cars or trucks turn left without seeing or misjudging the speed of an approaching motorcycle.
- Dooring accidents – Drivers or passengers opening car doors without checking for oncoming motorcycles can cause collisions or force riders to swerve into traffic.
- Lack of visibility – Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than other vehicles, making it challenging for drivers to notice them, especially in heavy traffic or adverse weather conditions.|
- Defective motorcycle parts – Malfunctioning parts like brakes or tires can lead to accidents if they fail while riding.
- Weather conditions – Kentucky’s weather, including rain, fog, snow, ice, and other adverse conditions, can reduce visibility for motorcyclists and increase the risk of accidents.
Reducing the Risk of Motorcycle Accidents
While some accidents cannot be prevented when other drivers act negligently, motorcyclists in Kentucky can take precautions to reduce the risk:
- On top of always wearing a helmet, you should also wear protective clothing like leather jackets, pants, gloves, and boots.
- Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing and use your headlights and turn signals to make yourself more noticeable to other drivers.
- Obey speed limits, use turn signals, stay in your lane, and be aware of traffic laws to ensure safe riding.
- Anticipate potential dangers on the road and be ready to take evasive action if needed.
- Watch out for cars turning left in front of you and be cautious when passing or being passed by other vehicles.
- Regularly check your tires, brakes, lights, and fluids to keep your motorcycle in good working condition.
- Never ride a motorcycle while under the influence.
By following these precautions, motorcycle riders can reduce the risk of accidents and have a safe and enjoyable riding experience in Kentucky. However, it’s important to remember that motorcycle accidents can still happen, which can result in a variety of injuries. Even if you’re not wearing a helmet, you still have a range of options for recovering from your accident.
Can You Be Liable For Your Motorcycle Accident in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, if you are involved in a motorcycle accident, liability is an extremely important aspect of your case. Generally speaking, liability hinges on negligence. When you’ve been injured, you have the right to take legal action against the party responsible for causing the accident and your injuries. To prove that someone was negligent in causing the motorcycle accident, there are four important things you need to show:
- Duty of care – The responsible party had a duty to act in a safe and reasonable manner.
- Breach of duty – The responsible party failed to meet this duty by acting negligently.
- Causation – Their negligence directly caused the accident, which resulted in your injuries.
- Damages – You must demonstrate that you suffered injuries or other damages as a result of the accident.
A motorcycle accident can be especially traumatic and damaging when you or anyone else isn’t wearing a helmet. Further, not wearing one could affect your ability to claim damages. According to Kentucky’s “comparative negligence” law:
- If you are partially at fault for the accident, your potential compensation may be reduced by the same percentage.
Legally speaking, not wearing a helmet could be seen as not taking necessary precautions to minimize your injuries. However, you still have legal rights if you’re injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
Steps to Take To Recover Damages in a Kentucky Motorcycle Accident Claim
Recovering damages after a motorcycle accident in Kentucky involves following a general procedure. First, it’s crucial to establish that your injuries resulted from the negligence or fault of another driver. Our team can help determine liability and pursue the full extent of your damages within Kentucky’s legal framework.
Understanding the necessary steps is also important, which include:
- Seek medical attention – Prioritize getting proper medical care for your injuries. This not only ensures your well-being but also provides documentation and evidence for your claim.
- Gather evidence – Collect as much evidence as possible, such as photos of the accident scene, witness statements, and police reports. This evidence supports establishing fault and proving the extent of your damages.
- File an insurance claim – If you have the other driver’s insurance information, you can file a claim with their insurance company. If it’s a hit-and-run incident, you may also file a claim with your own insurance.
- Consider filing a lawsuit – If you can’t reach a fair settlement with the insurance company or if their offered compensation is insufficient, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover damages.
Possible damages that you can seek in a Kentucky motorcycle accident case include:
- The costs for medical treatment and related expenses.
- The costs for therapy aimed at recovering from injuries.
- Compensation for income lost due to the inability to work, physical and emotional pain caused by the accident, and the psychological impact of the accident.
- Compensation for the loss of enjoyment in activities and relationships.
- Expenses related to the funeral and burial in cases of a fatal accident.
The total amount you can recover depends on the specifics of your case. Having experienced Kentucky motorcycle accident lawyers like us by your side ensures you receive a fair settlement.
Fight For Your Compensation After a Kentucky Motorcycle Accident
At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, we provide trustworthy legal guidance for injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents in Kentucky. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. By handling the responsibilities of your claim, we allow you to focus on your health and rebuilding your life.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we’ll fight for your rightful compensation.